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Answer Angel: Summer sweater options?

Ellen Warren, Tribune News Service on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Once again, summertime is rolling around, and once again I would love to wear my cute sleeveless tops (and I don’t care if my upper arms are flabby — deal with it, people!).

But once again, restaurants will be running their A/C at meat-locker levels. Can you suggest layers I can put on top that are still summery looking? Do I have to keep out my winter cashmere sweaters?

--Barb B.

And this…

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I’m looking for an age-appropriate gift for my mom whose birthday is coming up. She’s so hard to buy for. Any clothing suggestions? She likes any clothes she can get her hands around; she’s very “claspy.” And she likes stretchy fabrics. I have absolutely no good ideas and it would be so great to surprise her with a gift she can wrap herself in and will truly love — especially from her adult son with not a clue about women’s clothes.

--Pete W.


Dear Barb and Pete: Two seemingly unrelated questions with one easy solution. For Mom, who is hard to buy gifts for, and Barb, who is always freezing in the summer because of brutal air conditioning.

You both will love an item I splurged on for myself that is versatile, feels luxurious and comes in 75 colors. 75! Including 24 neutrals — variations on white, gray, beige and brown. And 17 different shades of blue. It is the Claudia Nickhole Ladies’ Cashmere Poncho Wrap by Alashan. It’s also called a “dress topper” (, $129 and up;, $129).

The hard-to-define item is a generous length of luxurious, cozy, stretchy, soft, lightweight, highly packable for travel, 100% cashmere, and advertised as “better than a shawl.” I agree. Think of it as a shawl with a hole you stick your head through so it won’t require you to clutch it from falling off your shoulders/arms.

I love mine and I think it is the answer to both of you and it doesn’t have armholes to struggle with, yet covers arms nicely. Also, it isn’t, bulky or fitted, and, at 20 inches length in front (it hits at the waist) and 25 inches in the back, doesn’t swallow the wearer however she twists it around for different styling.


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